San Antonio Travel Alert from GetEQUAL Texas
San Antonio, famous for its Riverwalk and the Alamo, is facing scrutiny from GetEQUAL Texas -- a statewide grassroots social justice organization working toward the full equality of all LGBT Texans. They have issued a "travel alert" to any LGBT person planning travel to the San Antonio area. This alert has been issued based on the fact that San Antonio -- the 7th largest city in the country -- has yet to pass a non-discrimination ordinance that would protect LGBT travelers from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Despite investing significant funding into its tourist industry, the City of San Antonio has continued to postpone a vote on this important non-discrimination ordinance. Although the San Antonio City Council has expressed an interest in revising the city ordinances to prohibit discrimination against LGBT travelers in public accommodations (i.e. hotel stays, restaurant visits, etc.), city officials have repeatedly delayed a vote on the ordinance amendments.
"Having been raised in San Antonio, I've experienced discrimination repeatedly within the borders of the city," said Jay Morris, Co-Lead Organizer for GetEQUAL Texas. "Despite calling the San Antonio Police Department after being the victim of a violent hate crime, I was removed from the building and my attackers walked free. No police report was filed and I had no mechanism after the attack to report the incident or to help prevent such an event from happening in the future. If the City Council refuses to pass this non-discrimination ordinance, I worry for the safety of other LGBT residents of and travelers to the city."
"The rule of law in San Antonio supports discrimination, plain and simple," added Jennifer Falcon, San Antonio Lead Organizer for GetEQUAL Texas. "Our local officials are dragging their feet, there is no state law to help us, and there are no federal laws in place we can rely on for protection. If the city really wants to welcome all people, they would take action immediately to pass this non-discrimination ordinance and end the fear of discrimination by LGBT travelers to our city."
Adam Greenup, the LGBT Liaison to Mayor Julian Castro, has indicated that a vote on the proposed ordinance amendments will take place on September 5, 2013. In response to repeated delays and recent attacks on LGBT people in the media, GetEQUAL Texas has issued the following travel alert for all LGBT people planning travel to San Antonio:
Those who are required to travel to San Antonio are encouraged to take the following precautions:
If you experience discrimination while visiting San Antonio, please report it to GetEQUAL TX's discrimination hotline at 707-992-LGBT (5428).